Years ago my dad gave me a small rectangle glass pitcher. He and my mom lived next door to a car wash, and it seems people were always tossing interesting stuff from their cars. One morning as he walked their dog he saw a squatty little chunk of glass on the pavement. He thought it might be something I would like. He was right.
That little pitcher and a gag Christmas gift were the last two things he ever gave me. The pitcher was always intriguing to me. The size and shape were unusual, yet familiar. And why and how did it end up on the pavement of a car wash?
My dad died a few short months after giving me the pitcher. Its importance grew by leaps and bounds. I have now owned it for over twenty-five years.
It sits on my kitchen counter reminding me of my dad. Some days I feel it is his watchful eye making sure all is well. It has been a vase, a vessel to transport water to my houseplants, and water to the dog’s bowl. Most days it just sits on the counter.
In the beginning, I kept looking at that little pitcher wondering why there was such a familiar connection with it. It seemed to have been a part of my past even before my dad gave it to me. I asked family members if our grandparents or anyone else in the family had owned a pitcher like it.
No one else felt that sense of deja vu that I felt.
Several years after my dad had died I was home sick with the flu. I thought maybe some old television comedies would make me feel better. I began channel surfing and found one of my favorites – I Love Lucy. It was just as I remembered funny, silly, predictable but comforting.
About half way through the show, Lucy was making breakfast in the kitchen with Desi. He asked if there was any orange juice. Lucy went to fridge and when she turned around, there it was. My little pitcher, full of orange juice. I felt I had reconnected with an old friend.
I knew deep in my childhood memory banks that Lucy episode was stored.
That is why the pitcher always felt familiar, why it felt it was a part of my life. I laughed out loud that morning, marveling at the power of memory.
My family had watched so many episodes of I Love Lucy together. It was one of our favorite shows. I thought about the connection of pitcher, show, laughter and the love of my dad. Who knew so many seemingly unconnected things were connected. Isn’t that how life is? We live in a universe full of ripples, and sooner or later we all are touched by some of them.